Enhanced API Test Automation in 2023: 6 Best Practices
- By Prashant Pujara
API testing has become a vital part of the software development life cycle. It allows developers to integrate and test their APIs with various tools and applications. Apart from that, it also helps in testing the end-to-end interactions between various systems. Certain best practices need to be followed to achieve the best results from API testing. In this blog post, we'll outline six of those best practices.
1. Appear As If you're The User
When testing an API, it's important to behave as if you're the user who is using that API. This means ensuring that your test requests are made in a way that reflects real-world usage and behaviour. For example, ensure to include proper query parameters and headers when requesting information from the API. Additionally, be consistent with your request method (e.g., HTTP GET or POST) and use standard titles for resources so that tests can easily identify them across different applications.
2. Use APIs That Are Similar To The Ones Filtered By Your Application
To ensure that your tests are as accurate as possible, it's important to use APIs similar to the ones filtered by your application. For example, if you're testing an API for a social networking site, ensure you include requests for information about users and their posts. This way, your tests will more likely reflect how the user would use the API.
3. Use Appropriate Methodologies and Tools
When testing an API, it's important to use appropriate methodologies and tools. For example, when using HTTP POST requests, it's important to use the correct content type (e.g., application/JSON). Additionally, when testing an API using a web browser, you should use Chrome or Firefox as your browser.
4. Validate Results against Target Application
After completing your tests, validating the results against the target application is important. This means ensuring that your tests produce accurate results for relevant information to the target application. For example, if you're testing an API for a social networking site, ensure all POST requests are successful and that GET requests return valid data about users and posts.
5. Interact With the API As If It Were a Real User
When testing an API, it's important to interact with it as if it were a real user. For example, when making POST requests, ensure you include the correct data in the body of your request (e.g., username, password). Additionally, be sure to use standard HTTP verb usage (e.g., PUT for creating posts and GET for retrieving posts) when interacting with the API.
6. Monitor and Troubleshoot As Needed
When testing an API, monitoring and troubleshooting as needed are important. This means keeping track of errors during your tests and resolving any issues as quickly as possible. When using a web browser to test an API, use tools like Firebug or Web Inspector for debugging purposes.
Issues Which Tester Faces While Automating APIs:
1. It is important to understand the API you're testing to automate the testing process. This means having a general idea of what methods are available and how they work. Additionally, it cannot be easy to know exactly which requests should be automated and which should be performed manually.
2. Testing an API can often involve multiple steps – each with its requirements (e.g., making valid POST requests and reading data from responses). It can be tedious and time-consuming to complete all these tasks manually. In addition, automation may lead to more accurate and reliable results.
3. Testers should be prepared to encounter errors while testing an API. This means setting up a system that can handle unexpected behaviour and responding appropriately (e.g., sending error messages to a monitoring server). Errors may also occur during the automation process itself – it's important to account for this and take appropriate measures (e.g., changing test parameters or restarting automated tests).
4. It is important to clearly understand the end goal of an automation test – verifying that the application works as expected. This means knowing which tests should be run and how often (e.g., once per hour).
5. Testers should keep track of changes made to an API during testing – this will help them identify any issues early on before they become insurmountable.
API tests are essential as they give quick feedback on whether the app is working as expected. When implemented appropriately, they can be an efficient tool for improving the app's quality and performance.
The only way to make excellent use of API tests is by following these six best practices. First, you must automate your testing process across multiple versions and platforms so that you don't miss any bugs in your app. Secondly, ensure that you run builds often enough to catch any flaws before their release date. Along with this, ensure that end-to-end automation becomes a part of your testing workflow too!